American Politics

The field of American Politics at The University of Maryland includes the study of Congress, voting and participation, public opinion, race and ethnicity, political parties, interest groups, state and local politics, courts, political development, the Presidency, and the contextual effects of factors such as diversity and segregation. The work of our faculty members is tied to the scientific study of American politics through rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods.

students on mall grass

Comparative Politics

The field of Comparative Politics at the University of Maryland is diverse, with particular strengths in the comparative study of conflict, institutions, environmental politics, and political economy. Our faculty has published their research in the most prestigious outlets of the discipline, receiving numerous awards for their analyses of politics in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.


International Relations

The field of International Relations examines the dynamics of the political and economic relationships between governments, their citizens, and non-state actors in a globalized environment of exchanges and communication. Key issues addressed include the causes of armed conflict within and between states, the foreign economic policies of states and the challenges of economic development in a global economy, the peaceful resolution of disputes based on negotiation and international law, and the influence of the international system on the political and economic development of states.   

Teacher at board


Political Methodology and Formal Theory focuses on different approaches to empirical political research—including statistical modeling, experimental approaches, and qualitative research—as well as mathematical techniques of theory development such as game theory, social choice, and formal modeling.

Signing of Declaration of Independence

Political Theory

We address the ‘voice’ of political theory (as Michael Oakeshot, has put it) in the historical ‘conversation of mankind.’  However we are mindful of problems in the tradition that need to be addressed by newer forms of understanding and interpretation.  Our faculty has a wide familiarity with a variety of methods: post-structuralism, trauma theory, psychoanalysis, and The Frankfurt School, to mention just a few.   We encourage independent thinking and support innovative and creative approaches to writing and researching doctoral dissertations.